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Graffiti program costly

May 03, 2012
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SAN JOSE, CA — The cost of this year''s graffiti abatement program will be higher than anticipated, prompting questions about recently outsourced work, according to the Mercury News.

The City Council has decided to review the effectiveness of their current graffiti removal contract, a decision that is drawing scrutiny at a time when city hall and public employee unions are waging war over pay and benefit cuts as more outsourcing threats loom on the horizon, the article stated.

According to the article, despite costing nearly $100,000 more than anticipated in the current budget year, officials are defending the contract with Graffiti Protective Coatings, because the city will still save roughly $500,000 over in-house cleaning.

"We''ll still be realizing a significant savings," said Julie Edmonds-Mares, the acting director of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services, which oversees the anti-graffiti program.

"I want our new anti-graffiti program to be successful," said unsatisfied Councilman Xavier Campos, who represents the East San Jose area that has been among the hardest hit by taggers.

"My concerns stem from the unanswered questions of the efficiency of the new contractor''s work. If we approve a funding increase that will most likely be a substantial amount, then I need to make sure the taxpayers of San Jose will reap the benefits. I just don''t believe they have been since the new contractor took over," Campos added.

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